YMCA Case Heads to VA Supreme Court - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

YMCA Case Heads to VA Supreme Court

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In most places, plans to build a new YMCA in a community that doesn't have one, would universally be applauded, but that's not true in Charlottesville.  

In the city, both the proposed location and a consortium of competing gyms are driving the project to the Virginia Supreme Court. It has been four years since the YMCA wanted to build in McIntire Park.  And on June 7, two 20 minute hearings in the state's highest court will shed light on where this project is going.  

Denny Blank with the Piedmont Family YMCA had strong words about the project, stating, "The people of Charlottesville are going to ultimately have their YMCA."  

The non-profit says it will prevail when the case involving its proposed building goes to the Virginia Supreme Court.    

"There is no more higher case than the supreme court.  So when this is resolved, we're ready to move forward," said Blank.  

The Charlottesville Area Fitness Club Operators is suing both Charlottesville and Albemarle over the decision to allow the YMCA build in the west part of McIntire Park. The group, including ACAC Fitness and Gold's Gym, says both governments violated the state's procurement rules.  

David Thomas, the attorney for Charlottesville Area Fitness Club Operators said, "How it's implicated when city and county governments contract with non-profit entities to get things they would otherwise have to go through a bid process for."  

Both cases were dismissed by a circuit court judge.  The city's case was dismissed in April 2011, and the county's case was dismissed in November of 2010.  

Thomas said, "The most important thing about this trial has always been the idea of fair competition."  

Meanwhile, the YMCA is still moving forward with plans on the $14 million project.   Blank said, "We've gone through all of those hurdles along the way and at the 11th hour to be tackled with this lawsuit has really put us back a whole year."  

The Virginia Supreme Court has two options in their ruling: the first is to let the lower court decision to dismiss both cases stand. The other - send the case back to circuit court for a new trial.

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